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Oyster Bay's 2013 Budget Passes; Tax Levy Hike 3.8 percent

Budget package adopted 7-0; spending up only 1 percent, achieved with retirement incentives.

With the help of 91 people who chose an early-retirement incentive, the Oyster Bay Town Board has avoided layoffs and passed a 2013 budget.

The spending plan was approved 7-0 without discussion Tuesday at a meeting dominated by Hurricane Sandy conversations and a special presentation to the town's outgoing retires who took advantage of a retirement incentive package.

The $265,190,651 budget represents a 1 percent hike in spending and a 3.8 percent tax-levy increase over 2012's spending plan. Individual tax rates depend on assessments and other factors.

Supervisor John Venditto and the town's labor union are still discussing a revised labor agreement. Town officials had previously indicated they might have to lay off between 150 and 200 workers. The town now believes layoffs can be avoided.

A negotiating session was scheduled earlier this month but postponed because of the storm. A new meeting is scheduled soon.

The budget plan cut about $25 million from the original proposal. Those cuts came from discretionary spending, the 91 employees who took a retirement incentive, overtime cuts and the new state tax cap, according to Venditto.

The cost savings from the accord with the union will be on top of that, according to the supervisor.

CSEA local 881 president Robert Rauff, Jr. said previously the discussions are are centered around the unions getting an extension of their exiting contract and a guarantee that there would be no layoffs. The contract would be restructured to include cost cutting measures including possible salary adjustments, Rauff said.

The board also OK'd a provision that authorizes the town to borrow money to make immediate repairs related to the hurricane's damage. That money is expected to be reimbursed by the federal government.

Town Spokeswoman Marta Kane said there is no cost estimate related to the storm's damage yet. Some of the town's facilities, including TOBAY Beach on the Atlantic Ocean, have not been accessible yet because of the widespread damage. Those damage assessments may take several weeks.

The town's North Shore Beaches, particularly those facing Long Island Sound, also suffered significant damage.

Venditto acknowledged the difficulties of passing a budget in recent years, saying, "we're at the mercy of worldwide, nationwide and region-wide forces."

Lisa Smits December 15, 2012 at 06:54 AM
The truck drivers do not make six figure salaries! Only the top of the food chain earns that! Get your facts straight!!!!
Lisa Smits December 15, 2012 at 02:15 PM
BY THE WAY YOUR ARE WELCOME FOR US TOWN WORKERS CLEANING UP THE STORM MESS!
Lisa Smits December 15, 2012 at 06:52 PM
Seriously! You are as ungrateful as they come! WE were doing our jobs! WE busted our butts to clean up! WE also live in the Town of Oyster Bay! If we didn't exist, on top of OUR high taxes, you would have had to get out there and do it yourself! oh wait I see, you think you don't need garbage pick up, snow removal, sanded roads, roads in general, parks, grounds keepers etc! What will you do when you see what life in our town is like without these services? 91 people retired! 91 less workers to perform these services! They are not replacing them. I will watch for your comments when the next storm hits! You'll be the guy crying because you couldn't get to work! And by the way, the 3.8% tax increase is 3.8% of your town tax not 3.8% of your whole bill, really people get your facts straight!!
Lisa Smits December 15, 2012 at 07:21 PM
The tax went up 3.8% of your town tax not your whole tax. For most of us that means $38.00 PER $1000. Look at your tax bill people, your town tax will go up under $100.00 per house per year! You people make me sick!
Lisa Smits December 15, 2012 at 07:22 PM
I know for a fact that the truck driver do not make six figure incomes! Get your facts straight!!!

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